KOZHIKODE: The escape of a 16-year old plus-one girl from Malappuram from impending matrimony has triggered authorities to make a short-film against child marriage. The 7-minute short film titled, 18, being produced by the Social Justice Department of Malappuram intends to give a strong message against child marriage which is rampant there.
Last year, a 16-year old girl came alone to Manjeri police station and informed the Sub-Inspector that her marriage was being fixed and pleaded for help. A shocked SI alerted the district child welfare committee and SJ department officials.
They contacted the groom’s parents and convinced them about the legal repercussions and thus the marriage was aborted. “We want to highlight that even a minor can fearlessly seek police help in distress. Secondly, many who take part in such child marriages did not know that along with the organizers of the marriage, they too were complicit in the illegal affair,” said Sameer Machingal, Malappuram district child protection officer (DCPO).
As per the report of child marriage prohibition officers, 102 child marriages were held in Malappuram in 2015 and 76 such marriages were aborted. Those who take part in such marriages should be sentenced to two years imprisonment along with a fine of `1 lakh according to the child marriage prohibition act, 2006.
The schoolgirl’s courage grabbed the attention of then Superintendent of police, Debesh Kumar Behera and he suggested making a documentary. The short-fiction film will be made by the department of journalism and audio visual communication at Little Flower Institute of Social Sciences and Health (LISSAH) in Thamarasserry. Tanya Punnakkal, student at Govt. Boy’s HSS Manjeri has been roped in to play the protagonist. M. Sabarish is the director....